2022 Naveed Arif Iqball Award Recipient Announced

The Naveed Arif Iqball Award for Mental Health Advocacy and Stigma Reduction celebrates and enhances innovative approaches to stigma reduction among young adults in Washtenaw County. The award, led by the Eisenberg Family Depression Center, provides necessary support to local individuals and organizations making a difference in their communities.

A speaker at an AHI Connection Session
Leslie Walker-Harding, M.D. speaking at the 2019 Connection Session

This year the award will be presented to Adolescent Health Initiative's Connection Sessions. The Adolescent Health Initiative, part of Michigan Medicine, is a multidisciplinary group of health care professionals who strive to improve the quality of care provided to adolescents across the country. The nationally recognized organization works with care providers in 44 states, equipping them with innovative strategies to better serve their communities. AHI provides customer-focused, youth-driven approaches through coaching, assessment, modeling, and fostering community among adolescent health care providers nationwide. 

Connection Sessions are day-long professional development conferences hosted by the Initiative. This year’s conference theme, Intersections, will focus on supporting youth, their identities, and their mental health needs across disciplines. Taking place next February, the conference will help care providers expand their capacity to support mental health needs. It will explore the intersectional strategies necessary for improving care, including culturally responsive and youth-friendly approaches to screening and support.

An attendee at an AHI Connection Session
Attendees at the 2019 Connection Session

As recipients of the 2022 award, AHI will receive a $2,000 grant to supplement their efforts. This work comes at a time when youth mental health is in the spotlight. Last December, the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General deemed protecting youth mental health a top priority, calling the need for focus critical. The 2023 Connection Session will help providers across the country provide high-quality, compassionate care to one of our most vulnerable populations.

Support for the award is provided by the Naveed Arif Iqball Endowment Fund, established by Mr. Arif Iqball AM, MBA ‘95 of Kyoto, Japan in loving memory of his son, Naveed. Mr. Iqball believes that the stigma surrounding depression discouraged Naveed from sharing his mental health struggles and prevented him from seeking treatment. With this award, Mr. Iqball aims to support creative approaches to stigma reduction and increased awareness.

To learn more about the award, Naveed Arif Iqball, and the past recipients, visit depressioncenter.org/naveed.